This is a verse novel about three different girls, nothing in common, who barely know each other, and what they do have in common: one bad boy.

Josie is a confident freshman who doesn’t need a guy to feel like “a legitimate person.” High school, however, can do a number on even the most confident girl’s self-esteem. Before long, Josie is dating a “studly senior.” However, this bad boy isn’t all he’s cracked up to be. Josie learns the hard way about bad boys, and she writes a message to other girsl: a warning, in the back of her school library’s copy of Judy Blume’s classic Forever.

Next in line is Nicolette, a junior. She’s not sitting around and waiting for guys; she’s going to them. She sees power in it when they want her.

Aviva calls herself a “criss-crosser.” She’s got friends in all the cliques, but is a member of none. She finds out what this bad boy’s all about, too.

They each learn the same things about this popular, good-looking guy. They find out who he really is, even though everyone in school thinks he’s great. In the process, however, they also find something of themselves.

A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl, Tanya Lee Stone’s powerful debut novel, is a must read. The poetry flows nicely; it’s easy to understand and follow, not the stereotype of hard to understand, complicated, unenjoyable stereotype of poetry created for so many people in high school English classrooms across America. It’s an honest story, with a good voice, and the nameless bad boy is someone that can be found at every high school.

Rating: 9/10